It's all about the music, dude! Sit down, relax and listen to some tunes.
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Re: What happened to Christian music at church?
Posted by Bruce from DC on May 30, 2000 at 08:45:49:
Well, the short answer is that maybe you should speak to your pastor/minister/rector/priest about your concerns.
As a lifelong Anglican, I have grown up in a rather "stuffy" sacred music tradition. The congregation always sings hymns from the hymnal; and the choir usually presents one or two more ambitious pieces during parts of the service when the congretation isn't singing. These are always pieces by significant composers of sacred music.
That said, I have been a guest at several services by African-American churches with gospel music. Although different than my tradition, the music certainly was moving and it wasn't "simple" or "dumbed-down" anything.
In many churches, the issue comes down to 2 things. First, the lyrics for the old hymns are -- let's be honest, here -- kind of dated. I think that's a problem for some folks, even though the music may be excellent. Secondly, the demands of the more "serious" sacred works on those performing them are considerable and may be beyond the abilities of a typical church choir made up of members of the congregation. Many churches, including mine, deal with this by having a choir of paid, professional musicians. (Our church has 3 choirs, the "professional" choir, the "parish" choir (comprised of members of the congregation) and the "junior" choir (the kids). They don't all sing at every service, of course. I have mixed feelings about a professional choir, but I'm ok with the idea.
Maybe you should suggest that your church have some services that feature "traditional" church music, if there is a desire for that. It would be a shame if disagreements over choice of music separated some of the members from their church . . .